You can’t really count it as a food in its own right (“a large helping of magnesium for me please”… I don’t think so!), but magnesium is massively important for good health. More than 300 human body functions rely on it. And rather like a supporting actor in a film, magnesium doesn’t get the attention of more famous minerals, like calcium or iron. When did you last wonder if you were getting enough magnesium in your diet?
Yet one could legitimately argue that magnesium is the single most important mineral for sports nutrition. It is vital for energy production enabling you to work harder and longer; it plays a fundamental role in muscle contraction helping to improve overall strength; it is required for muscles to relax and loosen, thus increasing flexibility; and it reduces inflammation, muscle cramps and soreness, speeding up your recovery.
But it’s worth bearing in mind when your shaking your booty at Frame that magnesium is lost when you sweat. What’s more, low magnesium levels can lead to more sweating… aaagh, it’s a vicious circle!
Now, there is no one obvious source of magnesium – unless you fancy tucking into a beer can (… don’t), but a large number of foods contain relevant amounts, specifically: leafy greens, nuts, seeds and legumes. But, research shows that as many as two out of every three people simply aren’t getting enough of the stuff and magnesium deficiency can lead to a whole host of problems… depression, insomnia, anxiety, PMS, fatigue, migraines and muscle cramps to name a few.
So, in summary… go forth and blend an extra handful of spinach and chia seeds into your smoothie. And after a particularly sweaty class you could pick up some BetterYou Magnesium Oil Spray or Magnesium Flakes from the Frame shop. You can spray it on your muscles or add it to a bath; it is designed to be absorbed directly through your skin quickly replenishing the magnesium lost via sweat.